Even in times of isolation during a global pandemic, loves trumps all. That’s certainly the case for Peninsula Villages resident, Bill Bartlett, who proved there are still some deliveries that are making it on time when he surprised his wife of 73 years, Betty, with a special gift for her 94th birthday.
The pair have been separated for over three months due to COVID-19 restrictions, with Bill now a permanent resident of Peninsula Villages’ residential aged care facility, Jack Aldous House after initial respite admission in 2019 and Betty still living in the family home. In March, Betty was under the weather and so visits to Bill not only stopped but became unsafe due to the Coronavirus threat.
But fast forward three months with both now in good health and nothing was going to stand in Bill’s way from seeing his beloved wife on her special day. Peninsula Villages staff began thinking of ways he could celebrate with Betty and it was decided a special birthday delivery of chocolate and flowers was in order, from her favourite delivery man, Bill!
“Bill had been a little sad last week knowing that it was his wife’s birthday coming up and he wasn’t going to be able to spend it with her,” said Chief Executive Officer, Shane Neaves.
“Our team put the plans in place to take Bill to Betty for a visit – before now they had never spent this long apart in 73 years of marriage,” he added.
In shades of how they met at a local dance hall all those years ago, Bill was swept off his feet by Betty once more, greeting her with a hug and a kiss and the excitement only separation from love can create.
The pair rejoiced in spending time together once more, and Bill was able to lounge in his favourite chair and proudly showed off his magnificent model boat collection with care staff.
To top it all off, Bill is now the toast of Peninsula Village, telling staff of his exploits and how much it meant to him to see her face to face on her birthday.
“He actually described it as better than his wedding day”, explained Shane, with a laugh.
“That’s how much this meant to him, and it goes to show that even after 73 years, their love is still as strong as it was when they first met.
“These are the moments that make it easy to get up and come in to work each day for our tireless and dedicated staff. The joy of seeing Bill and Betty in each other’s company was beyond words,” Shane concluded.